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Divisadero

Sponsored by Griffin Bookshop

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SOME GOOD fiction from great writers is due out this month. From the celebrated author of The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, comes a remarkable new novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time.

In the 1970s, in northern California, near Gold Rush country, a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is ripped apart by an incident of violence, which sets fire to the rest of their lives.

Divisadero takes us from the city of San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada’s casinos, and eventually to the landscape of south central France. It is here, outside a small rural village, that Anna becomes immersed in the life and the world of a writer from an earlier time — Lucien Segura.

His compelling story, which has its beginnings at the turn of the century, circles around the raw truth of Anna’s own life, the one she has left behind, but can never truly leave. And as the narrative moves back and forth in time and place, we discover each of the characters managing to find some foothold in a present rough-hewn from the past.

Breathtakingly evoked and with unforgettable characters, Divisadero is a multi-layered novel about passion, loss, unshakable past, and about the often discordant demands of family, love and memory.

This is Michael Ondaatje’s most intimate and beautiful novel to date, and is available in hardback at 25 euros.